Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Immersion Therapy

Lets have a little pretend interview here shall we?
Interviewer: Emma, what is the one thing Sunny is genuinely fearful of?
Me: Good question, that would be wind, wind is something he does not understand and it makes him very nervous. 
I: That's fascinating. May I ask what you did with him today?
M: Today I hacked him to the wind turbine.

Yes. I'm a bad person. I'd like to say "In my defense I forgot he was scared of wind" but that's not really a defense as I really should be able to remember the one thing that scares him. We were just scooting along through the field having a great time when he suddenly got all snorty and tried to turn back all bouncy like. I was sort of just like "What's the deal mate?" and then Beth pointed out that we were basically right under the wind turbine and it turns out those things make quite a high pitched noise if you stand next to them. Sunny was not keen. Considering he was clearly genuinely scared he was pretty good about it and calmed down to hacking home on the buckle after a few minutes once he felt we were suitably away from it.
But you know. Immersion therapy. It's a real thing.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ding ding ding we found gold!

I don't think any of my readers who aren't Lottie or Beth have been reading long enough to have seen this post from 2013 about chatting with my then farrier about Sunny's breeding. This wasn't the first time I'd tried to make contact with Sunny's breeders, I think the first time was somewhere in early 2012. I've never really been successful and always ended up at dead ends.I didn't have any burning questions but I just would have liked as much info as possible and to see if they had any baby pictures.
Well the other day Lottie mentioned that a show ad she'd seen on facebook listed his breeders as sponsoring one of the classes so I asked if there was any contact info. There wasn't but this spiked my interest again so (not expecting anything as I'd done this multiple times before with no success) I typed them into google.
Ding ding. We have a facebook page.
So I messaged them last night asking for any information and baby photos and now I finally have information.
This is Sunny's Dam, Abercyppin Welsh Model, 1995 black Welsh D. I already knew about her, she's listed in his passport, but I had never seen a photo of her.
That foal is not Sunny...just putting that out there in case you can't tell lol
And this....this is Sunny's sire. Escley Tumble, 1992 dun Welsh.....A.
Welsh A?! Now I've seen DxC's, I've Seen AxB's, I've seen BxC's...I've even seen DxB's and AxC's.....never in my life have I heard of someone crossing a Section D and a Section A! Apparently when Sunny's breeders bought his dam she was already in foal with him to Tumble, but the previous owners didn't provide the new owners with a covering certificate, hence Tumble could not be registered on Sunny's passport and he went down as a Welsh Part Bred. Unfortunately there are no baby pictures as the woman now running the stud took over from her dad in 2009 so there are no Photos of the foals from before then other than the Full bred Section D's that were obviously going to be easier to sell.
But still, it's nice to know a little more history on well as having an explanation for his very strong personality!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Good old jump session

Today we had our first jumping session at home since Christmas on the twins. Jack's first ride in his new saddle and he looked absolutely fantastic!
I tried Sunny in Sparkie's bit today (hanging cheek waterford) because he has a tendancy to pick up his bit and hold it into a jump which meant I felt like I was yanking him back. Obviously the point of a waterford is that they can't grab and hold because it's collapsible so I was hoping it would allow me to not have to use so much hand to hold him into a jump and it did the job. The fact that he couldn't grab it meant that a single half halt when he locked onto the fence was enough to steady him instead of having to half halt every stride coming into the fence. I think I will be investing in one for him, we'll only be using it for jumping as he works well on the flat in his french link so I don't see the need to change that. Feel like a proper little rider with different jumping and flat bits lol.
While we were warming up Sunny did TWO right lead canters which he kept up first for a half lap and then TWO CIRCLES! I'm sure you guys understand what a big deal this is for us.
And then, he managed to jump like an actual horse up to 2'9", he made it look the easiest he ever has and was not drifting left anywhere near as much as the point that once he went right after the jump! We never go right after jumps! I was so proud!

Long leg problems

Actual quote from the saddle fitter right there.
Sunny had his fitting yesterday, she measured him all up and then tried on a few saddles to get an idea of what sort of style we were looking for. Basically there is not a saddle currently in her arsenal that fits him and has enough flap (either length or is forward cut enough) for my leg. However, there was one that was almost there, so that one is the basis upon which our new saddle will be built, meaning in 3-4 weeks Sunny will have a lovely saddle which perfectly fits BOTH of us! I'm so excited and will definitely be spamming you with pictures when it arrives.
Beth is very lucky and managed to buy her saddle outright on the day as the lady had one which perfectly fitted her and Jack. So Jack now has his proper grown up saddle too. Yay!

On another note. We went for a hack last week, Sunny and I jumped up a bank, he caught his foot on the way up and did the lamest canter I've ever felt for about 3 strides and I thought he'd broke his leg. Thankfully before I could even react he started trotting away normally without any problems but oh my god that was scary!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Headed indoors

Well today's lesson was almost called off yesterday when it turned out we couldn't use the arena we were supposed to be using as the owners were away and had locked the gates. However I managed to do a quick switch around and book an indoor near us on short notice. The place has an outdoor as well but I booked the indoor since the ground has been so frozen lately I figured it was safer.
We've been to this place before, it's where Sunny went for his first ever cross country schooling, but I'd never seen the indoor school before and was surprised by how big it was for the price. I really wasn't expecting it to be so big and well maintained for how much I was paying.
Sunny was super well behaved and tried his little heart out bless him. He also looked super fancy in his new white saddle pad that Beth got us for Christmas. Our main areas to work on right now (other than the ever problematic right lead canter - which by the way we achieved today!) are straightness and impulsion so I shall try and work hard on those between lessons. We stuck a little jump up at the end for him and he was in his element. He'll never be the most impressive jumper in the world but while he continues to get as excited about the jumps being put up as he currently does we'll keep on playing.
I think we will definitely be taking him out to places for lessons more often, hopefully it will be really good for him. 
Also very exciting is the fact that we have a saddle fitter coming out later this month to start the process of measuring Sun and I up for his custom saddle. Very exciting things happening this year!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Pony MOT

Sunny had the vet out today for his annual health check and vaccines. He also had his teeth done so it was a full MOT. The vet that came out was the same one as when our regular vet was getting married since said regular vet is currently on maternity leave. Luckily Sunny decided that although this guy wasn't his fave, he actually wasn't that bad and oh look is that a carrot you have there? So although he backed away quite a bit throughout the rasping he was pretty accepting of it and didn't try to make it look like he was being massacred this time which was nice.
Lesson tomorrow, will be my first ride in about a week and a half as the ground has just been super frozen so I shall report back after that :)

Monday, 26 January 2015

Pole work!

Saturday I rode Sunny again and we put out some trot and canter poles. His mind wasn't really on the job and although we got some of the best pole work and canter work I've ever had from him, I also had the least focus we've had in a long time. He really wasn't into it and was very heady which is not something I'm used to with him these days. Anyway, we'll move past it and see what happens on his next ride.